Here, there and everywhere: New York

In the past couple weeks Brett and I have been all over the state of New York.

We traveled to Rochester in the eastern part of the state to visit our Tuscaloosa friend Thad. Thad has always been a big star in our circle of friends, but now more and more people are being let in on this. Thad is finishing up a run of the play “I and You” at the Geva Theatre. He was absolutely fabulous in it. I cried twice. There’s a big twist at the end that I won’t give away in case any of you ever see the play elsewhere. Just know, it’s something.

We got to spend the whole afternoon walking around downtown Rochester visiting with Thad. While I’ve been happy and in marital bliss since we moved up here, there was a special happiness that energized me by being with a great friend. I can’t speak for Brett, but I do think he’d agree.


Loved getting to see Thad, but leaving was sad for everyone.

On our way home we made a pitstop at Syracuse’s campus. It is absolutely beautiful. Of course, it’s probably covered in snow the majority of the school year. We when passed through Syracuse headed to Rochester we saw a sign saying Syracuse averages 112 inches of snow each year. Despite surviving a very rough partial winter in Glens Falls, Brett and I still managed to share an incredulous look. Maybe that’s a case of “You may leave the South, but the South never leaves you.”


A Syracuse athletic department employee was nice enough to give us a small tour of the Carrier Dome. While it doesn’t compare to Bryant-Denny, it blows Coleman Coliseum away. Thirty-five thousand people in an enclosed arena for a basketball game, with 50,000-something for football.


Not only is the stadium enclosed, but we learned a cool fact about the roof. It’s like a balloon. It’s held up by fans running throughout the building. When games are over, Syracuse has to open extra doors and turn on more fans to compensate for the mass exodus of people. If they don’t, the roof collapses. Our impromptu tour guide informed us when people exit the stadium they are basically pushed out from all the air.


The stadium was prepping for a recruiting event, allowing potential students the opportunity to spend the night in the dome.

While at Syracuse we ate at Funk ‘N Waffles. The restaurant is located in a basement on Syracuse’s campus and is home to an eclectic feel. It’s been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” which is how we found out about it.


During the week live entertainment is available at night. But on the Sunday afternoon we were there it was packed with college kids enjoying a late lunch before what I can only imagine to be an evening filled with homework. I enjoyed a chocolate chip waffle with chocolate syrup while Brett enjoyed a waffle that had bacon included in the batter and eggs and cheese on top. We shared a brownie batter waffle as well and all items were ingested in a literal 10 minutes.


We arrived back home exhausted Sunday night, but thankfully I had the week off (Spring Break, finally) and Brett got most of Monday to recoup.

After a calm, stress-free week, Brett and I began to toy with the idea of a trip to NYC. I really wanted to go on Easter weekend because my MLB-team, the Braves, were in town facing the Mets. Thanks to our wonderful cousin Marilyn, we were able to make a last minute trip to the city on Easter.

With no family to spend Easter with, getting to spend it in NYC was wonderful. It was my first time to be in NYC and I am ever-changed from just mere hours in the city.


NYC had a city-wide Easter-theme. How could I pass up a picture with the M&M Easter bunny?


I was taken by all the advertising and hustle and bustle of the city. Since it was Easter it was a little slower around town and we really got to enjoy the city. We made a quick trip through the theater district and checked out Times Square, Radio City and the Rockefeller Center before we made our way to Citi Field.



The stadium was awesome. Very new with great food options. The only downside is a good many of their seats have tough views. From two different areas we weren’t able to see the corner of left field, but it still worked out.





We left the game a little early to make sure we got back into the city and our bus stop to get home, which worked out since the Braves lost in extras. We took the subway from Grand Central, which might have been my favorite part.

I loved seeing the historic train station and my mind was taken back to it’s glory days. I don’t know what, but I was just very moved by the whole thought.

It was a whirlwind trip that left me and Brett more exhausted than the last trip. But after a good night’s sleep I’m ready to go back. I see what everyone means when they say the city gets in your blood.

We’ve already planned a trip back during the summer to see Brett’s MLB team, the A’s, play, and also to be a bit more touristy for my sake.

After arriving home Brett declared no more trips for a while. So here we are, back in Glens Falls. There’s no more snow on the ground, but we are ready for sunny and warm weather to return.

Until next time!



South goes North

Well hey there, blogging world. It’s nice to check in and see you after a brief, scratch that, long, hiatus.

I got an email not too long ago that the blog had a new follower. A little bit of time has passed since I last blogged, but there is no shortage of events happening during that time.

I cannot even stress to you guys how much has changed since I last wrote to you about Devious Maids. (I didn’t even finish the season.)

A few weeks after that post the first girl from my group of friends got married. It was fabulous and sweet and I barely shed any tears the whole day, which was a shocking, but welcome change.

The day before her wedding I got my first full-time job out of college as the lifestyles reporter for the Starkville Daily News. It was a whirlwind finding an apartment, moving and starting all within about two weeks.

I’m not going to lie, I hated moving away from Tuscaloosa. I came home every weekend I could. I cried. A lot. But I had a great friend going to graduate school at Mississippi State University and it made things so much better than they could have been.

Work was challenging, but looking back it was such a blessing. I gained real world experience, had some great co-workers, and feel like I really grew as a writer. (That’s what my editor said as well, so I’m hoping that means its legit.)

The most exciting thing that happened last year was probably mine and Brett’s engagement. On an away-game weekend Brett created an elaborate scheme that ended with me on the Alabama campus at 1 a.m. It was perfect and sweet and I’ll never forget it.

Fast forward three months later and I’m standing at the altar in the Cypress Inn Pavilion exchanging vows with him. Brett graduated in December and got a job in Glens Falls, New York. Yep. New York.

He started before the wedding, but was able to come back down to (obviously) participate in said ceremony. He had a kind-of major role so we’re still very thankful there were no crazy Nor’easters that kept him from getting to Alabama.

The day after the wedding we began the 18-hour, one time change journey to the Empire State. Since getting here, we’ve explored the capital, Albany, snow tubed, gotten snowed in (that’s a first for us) and become accustomed to negative temperatures. All things I can confidently say I never expected to do in a non-vacation situation.

Journalism jobs are tough to find around the nation, and are even more difficult in a smaller town when your husband (still weird to say) is also a journalist. So, I’m currently taking up one of my favorite things to do, nanny, to help out with the finances until something comes along. Or until I find it.

I’m nannying two elementary and pre-K aged girls. They’re sweet and cute, and don’t know what word “ma’am” is. But that’s another story.

So there’s a sort-of brief on my life and where I’ve been for the past nine months. I’m not going to promise y’all crazy incredible content, or even continuous content for that matter, but I am going to try to write a bit more.

It’s been about four months since I wrote my last story for the Starkville Daily News, and I the itch is coming back to write. So here I am. Where you fine people happily listen to me ramble on and on about my life.

Thanks for sticking around guys. I’m sure I’ll have a great “Southerner in the North” story for you soon.

Forever Southern,


PS – I’ve got quite a few pictures on my Instagram of the adventures we’ve had since leaving Tuscaloosa. You guys are welcome to check them out here.

Summer TV: Devious Maids

Thanks to my affinity for poor television (I enjoy mind-numbing reality shows…I can admit it), and the persuasion of my friend, Tara, (plus my natural love for Lifetime) I gave Devious Maids a chance last night.

And guys, I’m just going to tell you, it wasn’t terrible.

I could blame my enjoyment it on the aforementioned reasons for watching, or the fact that it was 12 a.m., but, Lifetime did a good job in picking up a show ABC passed on.

The show is a combination of “Horrible Bosses,” and “Real Housewives,” but with a maid’s perspective, which makes sense since writer Marc Cherry’s last t.v. endeavor was Desperate Housewives.

The cast is incredibly seasoned, and the general background stories are good, but despite a climatic beginning, the story waned a bit, which has potential to be problematic.

These maids put up with everything from husbands trying to seduce them to wives who think they are on a better level. But, the sassiness and different storyline of each maid gives you one, if not multiple, likable characters. While the outside lives of the maids may be simple or boring, their work lives bring much more drama than most.

There’s plenty going on, between husbands trying to seduce them to protecting their own, there’s good writing and strong acting. Unlike recent Lifetime shows that have pulled actors and actresses unknown to many, the star power is not lacking for Devious Maids.

There’s Grant Show, who has been in a few Lifetime movies, including Sex and the Single Mom. He has also had appearances in the television shows Burn Notice, Private Practice, Big Love and oh, you know, Melrose Place.

Drew Van Acker, also known as Jason on Pretty Little Liars, takes on the role as Remi, the hot, rich son of…wait for it, Susan Lucci. Her first appearance on the show is under the bed, upset after the pool boy dumps her. (Is there a better way for Lucci to appear in a show, really?) But she’s not the only cast member to bring soap opera power. Briana Brown, the 6-month wife of a husband who still tries to please his ex-wife, had a 200+ episode stint on General Hospital.

And then there are the maids. Rosie (Dania Ramirez) has the tug-at-your-heart storyline. While she works to make money to bring her son to the United States, her boss finds facials more important, leaving her baby in Rosie’s care. There’s Carmen, (Roselyn Sanchez) who has taken a maid job with the hopes of getting her pop star boss to notice her talents, and has no intention of ever cleaning his house. She spends her time trying to outwit said-star’s one-woman firewall. Zoila ( Judy Reyes aka Carla on Scrubs) has enlisted her daughter, Valentina to help, which is fine with her since she likes the boss’s son. And then there’s Marisol (Ana Ortiz), who is new to the world of maids. We learn at the end of the first episode she has her own agenda, and it does not involve Windex.

There was a lot to take in during the first episode, between character backgrounds and setting up over-arching story lines, there were times when the show moved too quickly.

So here’s my biggest issue: I expected there to be more maid-to-maid interaction. We are given a few scenes where the women are hanging out at a park together, but aside from that, the majority of the show is based on the maids’ lives at work. Which is entertaining, but somewhat overdone. I want to see the devious maids, not the lacking bosses.

But, I’ll give any new show a few more views before I cast an actual judgment. Devious Maids airs at 9 p.m. CDT on Lifetime.

Beach Bum

It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve blogged. Sorry friends. It’s been a busy past few weeks, but also relaxing.

After celebrating Memorial Day with good friends and food at the lake and a little bingo, I packed up for a 10 day beach trip.


20130610-100208.jpgI was so incredibly close to the grand prize of $70 in the blackout round.

The first part of the trip was to celebrate Katelin and her upcoming wedding. We spent Wednesday-Saturday soaking up every ounce of sun we could. We also ate incredibly well and shopped a ton.

20130610-100649.jpg Our first stop in Gulf Shores was Bahama Bob’s. And it never disappoints.

20130610-100931.jpg Then, the best maid of honor ever took us to get our nails done. My toes were hot pink, Poptastic by Color Club. My fingers were Don’t Be A Budapest by OPI.

20130610-100939.jpg She even had goody boxes for everyone.

20130610-101001.jpg Dinner at The Hangout. Thanks for the good time, Ben.

We even got to see an America-themed light show at The Wharf. Does it really get any better than that?


While the girls packed up to come home, I switched condos. I stayed for an additional week with the Irvin clan. I’ve been part of their annual beach trips for six years now (except for one summer when I lived in Kansas City).

I got to come up during the hottest part of the day and snuggle with this sweet girl during her naps.


20130610-121500.jpgShe strutted all over the beach in her bathing suits.

This year provided a lot of entertainment thanks to the chairs next to ours. The Southeastern Conference was well represented. We made friends with Mississippi State and Missouri friends, and other Crimson Tiders as well.

Corn hole was brought out, and it got serious. Daily tournaments were played, the National Anthem was a requirement in the final round. There was a lot of good cornin’ happening.


The summer of ’13 has started off fantastically, even if I am a little burnt from 10 days of sun. Here’s to the continuation of an enjoyable summer for all. (And the hope that I don’t wait two and a half weeks to blog again!)

20130610-121600.jpg A happy jelly fish someone created from all the washed up seaweed.



I’m really dropping the ball with the blogging lately, as my mom so gently informed me. Sorry guys! It’s been pretty busy. Softball games and babysitting, but I like it that way. My sister graduated from high school earlier in the week, and it has made me incredibly nostalgic while making me feel incredibly old.

The devastation in Moore, Okla. left me just as heartbroken as it did the rest of the country. It was painful to watch, understanding some of the pain that community feels after such a disaster. I still have the occasional tornado dream even two years later, and they have been brought back this week. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this time. You can prevail. You will prevail.

My wonderful friend, and former professor, who experienced a more first-hand experience with the tornado, wrote an op-ed piece for the city. It was originally in the Christian Science Monitor, but has been picked up by other online news outlets. (Meredith, if you’re reading this, I think this comes 360 degrees, and you should restart the Upbeat blog. 🙂 )

Things will be slowing down very quickly though. The last day of school is tomorrow, then it’s summer! I leave for the beach next Wednesday and won’t be back for 10 days. I love the beach, but I feel confident there will be more sand in my bed than on the beach when it’s all said and done. Until again, happy almost summer!



Last week, Chipotle opened a new location on The Strip. Thanks to awesome friends Savanna and Caleb, Tara and I quickly headed there to get free Chipotle!




Tara officially asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. We’re just a little over a year away from the wedding, which leaves plenty of time for planning and fun! 



After covering high school softball the weekend before last, I got the pleasure of covering the NCAA softball regional in Tuscaloosa. After covering Alabama all season long in 2012, it was so fun to be back in my home away from home, even if it was for another school. 



Baby sister’s high school graduation. It was perfect weather, which is all you can ask for in late May in Alabama. 



Cooper is a sweet kitten that loves him some naps. I don’t know what I’m going to do to be away from him for 10 days. My family might want to kill him while cat-sitting. 

Busy, busy

Hi all! I am so incredibly sorry that it has been so long since I blogged. It’s felt weird, but I have been so busy.

Last week I spent many, many hours at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa. For the first time, Tuscaloosa hosted an AHSAA Softball Regional. Seventy-eight games were played in roughly 48 hours. A four-hour rain delay on Friday made it a difficult day for all teams involved. Some teams didn’t get to start their second game of the day until 11 p.m. and the biggest schools in the state, the 6As, had to wait until 7 a.m. on Saturday.

After the tournament, I attended a couples shower that a bunch of friends hosted for John and Katelin. The countdown is quickly dropping and July will be here soon!

By Sunday, I was exhausted. The severe temperature change that happened on Friday and Saturday confused my allergies and left me sickly. I’ve been sleeping most of days away, just trying to get back up to 100 percent. Despite the sickliness, the busy days are pleasant. I especially enjoy getting the chance to report.

Tuscaloosa hosts another regional this weekend, but for NCAA softball. And again, I get to cover South Carolina Upstate for the Spartanburg Herald Journal. They kick off the regional at 3:30 p.m. After spending so many hours in the press box at Rhoads Stadium last season, I cannot wait to be back there this weekend.

I apologize for the absence, but I hope you’re all getting to do what you love!

Chilly May

This past week and weekend was incredibly busy for me. But not without some fun. A group of friends went to see “Iron Man 3.” And as someone who has seen neither of the first two Iron Mans, I was surprised by the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to watching the two precious ones.

The weather has taken a turn here, with it being a balmy chilly May. We’ve been holding near the 50s lately and it’s extremely unpleasant for someone (me) who is expecting it to be in the 80s.

Here’s to the hope for warmer weather this week!

After my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day present arrived we just couldn’t wait to give it to her. Unfortunately, her Scentsy is only making us hungry thanks to the French toast scent wafting through our house.

20130506-133719.jpg The Tuscaloosa News prints its paper in its building. It’s an enchanting thing to watch it print.

20130506-134049.jpg Cooper finds enjoyment in any box. Even if it happens to be too small.

20130506-134303.jpg As an end-of-the-semester treat, I took Brett to the batting cages. While he worked with the fast balls I pretended to be back in church league softball.

20130506-134818.jpg Just some picture evidence from this weather. It’s out of control.